Cannon: Set the day after the end of "Happy Birthday".
Summary: Balki buys Larry a last minute birthday present. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Evening. Larry was seated on the couch, watching TV.
The apartment door opened and Balki came in, carrying a white, plastic bag. "Hi, Cousin!"
Larry turned, his right arm resting on the back of the couch as Balki came over. "Where have you been? You disappeared as soon as we got home. You aren't planning another surprise party for me, are you?" He gave him a small, wary look.
"Cousin, if I told you, a surprise no more it would be. I did think of something else to get you for your birthday," Balki said, his face lighting up like a kid in a candy store.
Larry smiled. "Balki, you didn't have to get me anything else. You already gave me a card and threw me a party, granted it was with people I'd never met before--"
"I know I didn't have to, I wanted to." Balki handed over the plastic bag as he took a seat on the back of the couch.
"Well, thank you, Balki." Larry set the bag on the coffee table, gave Balki one more look, then opened the bag. His brow arched as he reached into the bag and pulled out... "A stuffed toad?" He turned a questioning look at Balki.
"I remembered you had asked for Dimitri and I thought maybe you would like a little friend of your own."
"A toad?" Larry intoned.
"Cousin, you know how sometimes you get this look--"
Larry waved it off. "Nevermind, Balki." He looked at the stuffed toad again and sighed. "It is the thought that counts..."
"What his name is?" Balki asked.
"Name?" Larry looked at Balki again and laughed a little. "I'm not going to name him, Balki."
Balki gave him a small frown. "Pour little guy won't know who he is and Dimitri won't know how to get his attention."
"Balki, it's a stuffed animal," Larry reminded him, almost laughing. "Really, Balki, thank you. He's..." He looked at the toad again, "adorable." Balki reached over and gave Larry a hug. Over Balki's shoulder, Larry looked to the ceiling.
That night, Balki was setting up the fold-out couch. On the coffee table, sat both Dimitri and the unnamed toad. Balki finished spreading his blankets and sat on the end of the bed, looking at the two animals. "Now, Dimitri, be nice to your new friend. I'll try to talk Cousin Larry into giving him a name so you know what to call him."
The bathroom door opened and Larry came out. He walked up to the back of the couch. "Are they getting along?" He smiled, knowing Balki would think he was seriously asking him.
"Of course they are, do'n be ridiculous! But, Cousin, you really need to name him--"
"Balki, I told you before, I am not naming him. That's... childish. Besides, you had Dimitri since you were little. It isn't like you got him yesterday and named him."
"That is part of the fun. And, if he has a name, he will more likely help you with your fear of the dark."
Larry clamped a hand over Balki's mouth. "Don't say that! I just... don't like the dark." He removed his hand.
"That why you have a night light?"
Larry's brow arched, surprise crossing his face. "Balki, I asked you to never mention that." He paused. "Why am I arguing with you? You want me to give a toy a name. I'm going to bed." He turned to go back to his room.
"Cousin, you forgot something."
Larry turned and Balki held out the toad, so it was facing him. Larry sighed. "Thank you." He took the toad in one hand and went, quickly, to his room.
Balki turned to Dimitri. "Do you think I went too far with the night light?" A pause. "Me, neither."
In his room, Larry settled into his bed. The overhead light off, the night light on, there was just enough glow from the little light that he could see the stuffed toad staring at him from where he sat it on the chair in the corner. He rolled over and tried to ignore the set of beady eyes staring at him from across the room. He kept thinking about Balki asking him to name it. It's bad enough he bought me a stuffed animal, but he wants me to name it? If he wanted it to have a name so badly, why didn't he name it? Larry rolled onto his back. He started getting that feeling that he wouldn't be getting to sleep anytime in the near future. Instead, he stared up at the ceiling, thinking. Why am I being so stubborn about this? It's just a toy. I could humor Balki and get him to stop bothering me with it. He glanced over at the stuffed toad and sighed. Why was this bothering him so much? He closed his eyes and told himself to go to sleep.
Moments later, his eyes popped open again and he sighed. Why was he thinking about this so much? "Because I'm twenty-four and I got a stuffed animal for my birthday," Larry muttered, answering his own question. He sat up and glared at the toad. "Balki's only been here a month... maybe on Mypos stuffed toys are for everyone." He ran a hand over his face and shook his head. "I also sleep with a night light." He got up and walked over to the chair, looking down at the toad. He picked up the toy, which looked back at him through innocent, beady eyes. He gave it a half smile. "Promise you won't tell." He carried it over to the bed, set up his extra pillow on the side and set the toad on it. He laid down and found he'd placed it perfectly in front of his face Larry just about laughed out loud. He was being silly. It's just a toy and who would even find out... or really even care, for that matter.
The next morning, Balki was already up, making breakfast when Larry came out of his room, carrying the toad. He set it on the coffee table next to Dimitri and walked over to the kitchen table. "Morning, Balki."
"Morning, Cousin." Balki stirred something and looked up.
Larry walked over and looked down at what Balki was tending to. "Is this breakfast?"
"Well, if you don't mind," Larry walked over to the cabinets and pulled out a box of Smacks, "I'm going to have cereal. Whatever that is that you're making looks like oatmeal, but it's the wrong color."
Balki shrugged and spotted the stuffed toad next to Dimitri. "Cousin, did you name him yet?"
"Balki, what did I tell you about that?"
"That you do'n want to name him."
Larry pulled out a bowl and a spoon. "But I did anyway."
Balki's face lit up in a huge grin. "What his name is?"
Larry finished getting his bowl of cereal together and stopped next to Balki. He gave him a small smile. "Linn."